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The Apprentice Episode Seven – Lawyer’s summary

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Each episode of The Apprentice will be scrutinised by Chloe Harrold, an associate with leading UK employment law firm Doyle Clayton and she will pull out the HR blunders for your entertainment and education. Based in Canary Wharf, just a few floors below where Lord Sugar grills the candidates to be his next apprentice, Chloe has experience of advising senior executives as well as employers in all areas of employment law. She deals with contentious and non-contentious matters, including exit strategy, compromise agreements, discrimination, reorganisation and TUPE.

Chloe is also a qualified New York lawyer who qualified as a UK solicitor in 2009 whilst specialising in employment law at a City firm. She joined Doyle Clayton in 2012.

The Apprentice – Series 11, Episode 7

19 November – Pile it High, Sell it Cheap

Episode 7 began dramatically as the candidates received a royal home visit from Lord Sugar. If they thought this signalled a swanky trip abroad to represent queen and country in ambassadorial duties they were soon brought back to earth with a thud, and sent to Manchester, to open discount shops.

Early on we saw some forecasts of how things would turn out in the boardroom. Gary Poulton explained to us that he’s known as “the postman” because he “always delivers” – *cringe* – but he did lead his team to victory, well done Mr Postman. Meanwhile, on team Connexus, Lady Brady pointed out that Sam Curry, tutor by profession and put in charge of numbers by his team, should be feeling very embarrassed about his botched calculations. Sam’s performance didn’t improve and it was little surprise to see him fired.

The winner was difficult to call until we heard the final numbers, especially as Poulton promised that “one thing we are going to be, is value for money”. Contrast this with Claude Littner’s observation that they were supposed to be making money on discount products by piling it high and selling it cheap yet “they haven’t piled it high and they’re not selling it cheap”. Poulton persevered and ignored the early customer traffic so that he could walk his team through the “customer journey” (my personal favourite being toilet world). Team Versatile pulled it out of the bag and swanned off happily out of the boardroom safe for another week.

Meanwhile in the boardroom, we relived Vana Koutsomitis and Brett Butler-Smythe’s, at best misguided, at worst fraudulent, decision to falsely advertise their products as having being slashed from previous higher prices. Such deliberate actions to mislead customers would almost certainly justify instant dismissal on gross misconduct grounds in the real world of employment. Lord Sugar was willing to forgive them this over-zealous effort, although in the process of telling them off he may have dropped himself in it by asking Koutsomitis “were you in on that or are you going to plead the fifth?” – referencing her US origins? Be careful of throwaway comments which could lead to allegations of discrimination.

I’m looking forward to week 8 – party planning. Looks like someone gets carried out on a stretcher, sounds like a hell of a party.

www.doyleclayton.co.uk

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